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South Africans Mark First Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s Death

George Bizos, left, human rights lawyer who worked for the late former President Nelson Mandela, accompanied by unidentified officials, looks up before placing a wreath to the 9 meters (30 feet) tall bronze statue of Mandela outside Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2014, on the first anniversary of Mandela's death. Events are to be held around the country for the former statesman who died last year at the age of 95.  (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
George Bizos, left, human rights lawyer who worked for the late former President Nelson Mandela, accompanied by unidentified officials, looks up before placing a wreath to the 9 meters (30 feet) tall bronze statue of Mandela outside Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2014, on the first anniversary of Mandela’s death. Events are to be held around the country for the former statesman who died last year at the age of 95. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

(New York Times) – It was a death long foretold that drew mourners from his own nation and across the globe. But on Friday, one year after Nelson Mandela died, it almost seemed as if those he inspired were questing to rediscover his message of probity and reconciliation in a society with new troubles.

After a long illness, Mr. Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, died at age 95 on Dec. 5, 2013, and President Jacob G. Zuma declared, “Our nation has lost its greatest son.” Mr. Mandela remains its moral touchstone.

The superlatives returned on Friday as South Africa planned a day of anniversary events that included prayers and speeches as well as a star-studded cricket match and the blaring of the monotone vuvuzela horns that distinguish the nation’s soccer crowds.

Mr. Mandela “served South Africa, and all humanity, in a way that no one individual has ever done or is ever likely to in the foreseeable future,” Patrick Craven, a spokesman for the country’s powerful labor movement, said in a statement. “He left it up to us and future generations to continue that struggle.”

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